Streaks on the machine
April 30, 2011 9:41 AM   Subscribe

PC Screen Cleaning: What's the best way to clean a PC monitor? Tried water, scared of windex, changed the cloth type -- still have wipe marks and dust. Home readies or commercials solutions with type of cloth to use appreciated.
posted by Funmonkey1 to Technology (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This is what I use, and I like it. Works on my matte Samsung monitors, as well as my (very) glossy MacBook Pro screen. No dust, no streaks.

But yeah, avoid Windex or anything with ammonia in it.
posted by xedrik at 9:46 AM on April 30, 2011

Dunno if you have a Costco membership, but I use their eyeglass cleaning kit ($5.50 and you can refill the solution bottles for free!) on my MacBook screen. First I remove the dust with a very soft, fluffy microfiber cloth so that there's no danger of scratching the screen.
posted by enlarged to show texture at 9:54 AM on April 30, 2011

This came with my Sony hdtv. I thought my laptop screen had a big scratch in the middle, but when I used this stuff to clean it, it looked like new.
posted by raisingsand at 10:03 AM on April 30, 2011

It would help if you told us what type of monitor you have (LCD vs CRT). I thin we're all assuming LCD, but if it's a CRT then Windex is just fine. Don't use any alcohol or ammonia based cleaners on LCD.
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:04 AM on April 30, 2011

What kind of cloth are you using? I use a microfiber cloth to get the dust off first, then get the cloth slightly damp with water and gently wipe the screen.
posted by flod logic at 10:25 AM on April 30, 2011

Back before I used a Mac and didn't have the Apple-supplied cloth, I used a 3m microfiber cleaning cloth which left no streaks and polished the screen very well. It's really an impressive cloth.
posted by mnemonic at 10:25 AM on April 30, 2011

Use eyeglass cleaner and a microfiber cleaning cloth. Eyeglass cleaner's meant to clean glasses that have special coatings, so it won't mess up your monitor. It works on all types of monitors, from glass ones to soft LCD ones.
posted by limeonaire at 11:07 AM on April 30, 2011

Nowadays I dislike most Monster products, but their ScreenClean products (most of which come with both the cleaning solution and a microfiber wipe) have always worked well for me.
posted by IvyMike at 11:28 AM on April 30, 2011

Here is the BESTEST way to clean most surfaces. I learned it from a professional window cleaner, and it's so damn simple you won't believe it til you try it. It's absolute magic on windows, mirrors, chrome, etc., and just fine for monitor screens too. All you need are soft, absorbent rags (microfiber cloths are aces, but old T-shirts are also great) and water. No other chemical will do as fine a job as water, but the secret is to use as little water as possible.

Wet a cloth with hot water. Wring it out absolutely as much as you can, so it's barely damp. Use it to wipe the surface you're cleaning. Unless you're dealing with grease or dead bugs, most dirt comes off of glass easily. Now, take a dry cloth and spend much more time drying the surface than it took to clean it. Polish it dry (lightly--no need to rub hard). When you think you're done, give it a few more swipes, and watch the shine. If your drying cloth gets even a little bit damp at any point, replace it with a dry one. If you see any streaks remaining, polish them off with the DRY cloth.

One warning: once you know this technique, you will be in great demand among friends and family to clean all their windows, so keep it quiet.
posted by Corvid at 12:31 PM on April 30, 2011 [10 favorites]

I have a 250ml pump-spray bottle of some sort of generic screen cleaner that I bought in a supermarket here in the UK. My guess is that it's basically dilute isopropanol, so you could probably even mix your own. It was similar to this. That, plus a fine-textured microfibre cloth, has kept my screens clean for ten years now, and I'm still on my first bottle. Second cloth though.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:18 PM on April 30, 2011

Also, don't buy wipes. They're a waste of money.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:18 PM on April 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

70% isopropanol (rubbing alcohol, 2-propanol) and eyeglass cleaning cloths.
posted by porpoise at 2:57 PM on April 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Distilled water and a clean soft cloth (microfiber is a plus). It's that easy. Really.
posted by dave*p at 4:52 PM on April 30, 2011

Bingo Corvid, I think the trick is really hot water because it cools down way fast when you wring it down to slightly damp. I let the water run as hot as it gets and fold up a paper towel into a small square and squeeze like mad, run to the monitor and wipe like mad while it's still as hot as possible, then dry with a dry micro fiber cloth. Really the same works for floors and dishes, HOT water is so much better.
posted by zengargoyle at 9:44 PM on April 30, 2011

I use alcohol swabs (which I have around anyway because I inject insulin) and non-lotion facial tissues.

Not quite on topic: I had to laugh the last time I read a package of monitor cleaning wipes. They were labeled as anti-bacterial, and my first reaction was, if you're catching diseases from your monitor, QUIT LICKING THE SCREEN!
posted by Bruce H. at 11:42 PM on April 30, 2011

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